BT's latest wave of fibre adds 1.2 million premises and 99 exchanges

BT's latest wave of fibre adds 1.2 million premises and 99 exchanges

Summary: BT is continuing to fibre-enable new exchanges, with nearly a hundred more in Scotland, the Midlands and the north of England to go live before next year.

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BT has announced the next phase of its fibre broadband rollout, which will bring fibre access to 1.2 million extra homes and businesses in Scotland, the Midlands, the north east and north west of England.

BT's wholesale arm Openreach will upgrade 99 new exchanges by around spring next year to deliver fibre broadband to 600,000 premises, and reach a further 600,000 with "infill" work on areas it has previously announced, BT said on Tuesday.

The telco added it is looking at "alternative solutions" for premises in the areas covered by the exchanges that, for reasons of network topography or low return on investment, won't be able to get fibre access. Among the possible alternative solutions being considered are cellular options such as 4G LTE, as well as satellite and white-space broadband.

The 99 additional exchanges announced today will bring BT's total in the UK to around 1,700, covering 19 million premises. Around 13 million homes and businesses are now within range of its fibre network, according to BT.

When all the announced exchanges are live, BT will have met its target of delivering fibre broadband to two-thirds of the UK without government funding.

BT will also look to extend its rollout to other regions — most likely to be rural areas where the economics of delivering broadband don't stack up for commercial providers — using public funds administered by BDUK. BT said it is now beginning to identify additional exchanges that will get fibre with local authorities, using BDUK funding.

Openreach's fibre-to-the-cabinet offerings give download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps, leaving speed and price discrimination to retail service providers.

Openreach will make its FTTP service, which tops out at 330Mpbs, commercially available on demand from spring 2013. The price to service providers, in addition to a one-off installation levy, has been set at £38 a month

Topics: Broadband, Fiber, BT, United Kingdom

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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6 comments
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  • Low-hanging fruit

    As always, BT is expanding their network in the most profitable densely-populated areas where services were already good and consumers had choice, while the industry ignores in rural Britain.

    The UK government and Ofcom stand idly by and watch, as we fall further behind almost every other nation on the planet.
    Tim Acheson
  • Britain's rural broadband -- a national disgrace

    Blogged -- the lamentable state of Britain's digital economy infrastructure and the general lack of concern by the government:

    http://www.timacheson.com/Blog/2011/feb/uk_internet_infrastructure

    This will be Prime Minister David Cameron's legacy -- the decade in which Britain was left behind in the new digital economy. It would be like failing to invest in industrialization in the crucial first stages of the industrial revolution -- only the internet revolution is even bigger, even faster, and even more important.
    Tim Acheson
  • Open Reach ???

    More like NO REACH as far as Wales is concerned. As has already been said cherry pick the densely populated area's where profit comes before customers. At this rate I will never see fibre broadband in my life time.
    lyndon13
  • Why should BT expand into unprofitable areas?

    I don't get it. Why should BT pick up the slack? Why not one of the other private telcos?
    Remember Thatcher privatised BT so others could compete with it. Her ruling even forced it to open up some of its exchanges and cabling so dear Dennis' C&W could use them.
    As I said before if you choose to live in a place with low poulation density you get the benefits but also you get the downsides. Not just broadband, hospitals, refuse, power and so on.
    I would be upset if bill to BT were used to subsidised growth to Caithness or Trawsfynydd.

    You could of course group together and get a selfsustaining wireless tower dropped into your community just as the remote African regions are doing. One helicopter for the generator, one for switching and finally the tower. Undoubtedly the NIMBYs will complain.
    sonnet37
  • Excellent

    I do not understand why people are complaining , eventually we will all be connected to fttc, it is a much easier and cheaper network to maintain and BT will upgrade all cabinets eventually.
    wunderboy
  • FTTC

    I don't know what everyone is going on about, once there is FTTC it is easy enough to connect FTTP. ( fiber to the cabinet and fiber to the home.)

    BT is going to make a huge saving in maintenance costs and the benefit of laying fiber through the countryside is just so big i am surprised they have not done this earlier.

    I suspect that by 2015 almost everyone will have super fast 1gbs fiber to the home if they want it.
    Flubaluba Billandben